Martial Arts Family Fitness Announces Black Belt Exam

Sixteen students testing for first black belt and two testing for advanced black belts.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May. 13, 2014 – Martial Arts Family Fitness (MAFF), a family-owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, announced today that Grandmaster Dave Wheaton will oversee the semi-annual black belt test and promotion in the art of Dynamic Circle Hapkido. Testing for their first dan are three adults, one teenager and eight youth students. Additionally, one student will test for his third dan, one will test for his second dan, and another 22 black belts will test for advancement within their current rank. The black belt exam and promotion will take place at the Santa Barbara school’s facility at 122 E Gutierrez Street on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The promotion will begin at 10:00 AM with a Master’s test, followed by the advanced black belt test, and the new black belts will test at 12:30.

“This coming black belt test and promotion is one of the largest I have presided over,” said Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, founder and owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “Besides our new black belts and those promoting to a higher rank we also have a very impressive group of black belts testing for advancement within their current ranks, not to mention the Masters black belt test.”

“Black belt tests as a very important and emotional event for our students,” added Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “They train through a rigorous curriculum, and prepare for this day physically and mentally. For most of our black belts this day is the beginning of a life-long journey in the martial arts. One of the amazing things happening today is that we have two set of siblings testing: a brother and sister, and a set of twins and their sister.”

To test for their black belt students must exhibit proficiency in various areas of study, including basics (hand strikes and kicks), self-defense techniques, takes downs and throws, and sparring, including individual and multiple attacker scenarios. “Our students, adult and youth alike, train very hard for this special day,” added Grandmaster Wheaton. “In our school there is no difference in the black belt earned by an adult or youth student – all train exceptionally hard and earn their rank. As a black belt each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own. It is always a thrill to watch our students grow, and this is just one of the many days we celebrate their achievements.”

Testing for his 3rd dan is Michael Cutbrith, 60 years old

Testing for his 2nd dan is Tim Reid, 35 years old

Students testing for their first degree black belt are:

Mason Cortez – 10 years old

Tally Darsonval – 17years old

Julio Dorado – 12years old

Ruby Gasparrini -13years old

Amy Hilvers – 35 years old

Morgan Love – 13years old

Andrew Miller – 11 years old

Jakob Miller – 11 years old

Tessa Miller – 14years old

Sahid Pincheira – 13years old

Shanel Pincheira -14years old

Matthew Reali – 10years old

Tanner Ressler – 12 years old

Jonathan Rios – 14 years old

Garret Tesman – 21years old

Frank Troise – 48 years old

About Martial Arts Family Fitness

Martial Arts Family Fitness is an award winning school that opened its doors in Santa Barbara in 2002. The Chief Instructor, Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, has trained in martial arts for over 40 years and is a ninth dan in Hapkido, a seventh dan in Taekwondo and is the founder of Hapkido International, an organization that teaches his unique martial arts curriculum of Dynamic Circle Hapkido to many schools across the United States. Martial Arts Family Fitness teaches martial arts and fitness classes to adults and children, specializing in children’s life skills, youth leadership and family fitness. For information on Martial Arts Family Fitness visit or call 805.963.6233.


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